JayShah’s Saturday Box Office Column – Delhi 6 garners mixed response

Note all numbers are from Trade Guide

Reporting Methodology

1) New films most of the time where possible will be benchmarked against other films ‘in the same range’. The gross used for the older films will be one’s I have computed in the past
2) Films currently playing – I will always do some trending analysis. This is always against the ‘week before’
3) To compute subsequent week grosses I will always benchmark against ‘the first week’. Before it was always the preceding week, but Week 1 is always the best base because it gives maximum centres to use
4) Going forward I will show ONE example in FULL and show the results of the remaining scenarios

New Releases

Delhi 6

Delhi 6 starring a huge ensemble cast lead by Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor opened to a mixed response last week. The Rakyesh Mehra directed drama arrived with much expectations and came with a huge print release allover India. With the publicity of the movie strong, led by a critically acclaimed musical score the opening was expected to be good. The opening itself was slow but the weekend showed pick up. It’s fairly clear the weekdays have shown a significant fall – but remains to be seen if this is a genuine drop due to lack of audience interest or driven by family audiences shunning the movie during the weekdays.

The likelihood is Delhi 6 is following the pattern set by Raaz – TMC and Billu this year, a fairly decent first weekend haul but a significant fall in the second week. Incidentally, the critical and audience pitch overall for Delhi 6 seems to be in sync too – very mixed overall.

Week 1 Delhi 6 vs Week 1 Billu
Mumbai -90% means that Billu is 90% MORE than Delhi 6 in Week 1

Mumbai -90%
Ahmedabad -2%
Gandhinagar 7%
Himmatnagar -69%
Rajkot -3%
Baroda 61%
Bharuch 16%
Pune 46%
Nasik 20%
Goa 21%
Delhi 22%
Noida 36%
Kaushambi 27%
Gurgaon 35%
Faridabad 46%
Gorakhpur 2%
Lucknow 50%
Nagpur 42%
Raipur 32%
Kolkatta 25%
Guwahati -10%
Kota 34%
Burdwan -26%
Hyderabad 44%
Bangalore 50%
Chennai 64%
Vijayawada 68%

Delhi 6 leads in 21 centres
Billu leads in 6 centres

The cumulative centre total for the above centres for Delhi 6 = 6.65Cr (ignoring Mumbai)
The cumulative centre total for the above centres for Billu = 4.89Cr (ignoring Mumbai)

This means that Delhi 6 is 136% of Billu’s total (6.65/4.89 = 136%)

Using my own Billu Week 1 total of 18.0Cr (midpoint), Delhi 6’s Week 1 = 136% * (18.0) = 24.5Cr

A similar exercise with Raaz-TMC & CCTC yields the following outputs;
CCTC ~ 23.8Cr (using my CCTC figure of 22.75Cr)
Raaz TMC ~ 23.0Cr (using my Raaz TMC figure of 18.5Cr)

Delhi 6 1 Week Total = 23.0-24.5Cr(Week 1) = 23.0 – 24.5Cr

Verdict – Decent Opening Week

As stated, like Billu and Raaz – TMC, Delhi 6 has managed a decent opening week total. Like these movies, a huge print outlay is one significant reason for a decent number but potentially one reason also why the films are managing average occupancies over the week. All three films could have benefited a bit more from a slightly more restricted print release.

On the whole, Delhi 6’s audience verdict depends completely on the second week performance. Reports suggest the second week has started weakly which could mean a huge fall. If the fall is huge the film will emerge a flop. A total in the range of 35-40Cr is the likely course for the film.

[The total for first week will be updated when Mumbai figure is complete and available. The total is subject to change since Mumbai is the biggest centre and can change a figure quite significantly]

Past Releases


Billu had a huge second week fall.

Billu Week 2 vs Billu Week 1
77% Mumbai means Billu fell by 77% in Mumbai in Week 2

Mumbai 77%
Ahmedabad 81%
Himmatnagar 50%
Gandhinagar 78%
Baroda 51%
Bharuch 57%
Rajkot 73%
Pune 80%
Nasik 80%
Goa 79%
Delhi 85%
Noida 84%
Kaushambi 84%
Gurgaon 79%
Faridabad 75%
Lucknow 72%
Gorakhpur 75%
Nagpur 73%
Raipur 78%
Kolkatta 77%
Guwahati 55%
Raipur 91%
Kota 69%
Burdwan 66%
Hyderabad 84%
Bangalore 57%
Chennai 65%

Week 2 drop = 79%
The film has seen a big drop in major centres and surprisingly more so in the North. The South is the most stable but no centre has fallen by less than 50%.

The Billu Week 1 total for the above centres = 8.03Cr (ignoring Raipur and Hyderabad)
The Billu Week 2 total for the above centres = 1.69Cr (ignoring Raipur and Hyderabad)

This means that Billu’s Week 2 total is 21% of Billu’s Week 1 total (1.69/8.03 = 21%)

Using my own Billu Week 1 Total of 17.5-18.5Cr, Billu’s Week 2 Total = 21% * (17.5-18.5) = 3.7-3.9Cr

Billu 2 Week Total = 17.5-18.5Cr(Week 1) + 3.7-3.9Cr(Week 2) = 21.2 – 22.4Cr

Verdict – Flop

After a decent first week, Billu’s heavy drop of close to 80% qualifies as very significant and a clear flop. With competition from Delhi 6, the drop is probably more than would have been the case with a clear week but overall it’s a very sharp fall. A total shy of 25Cr looks the best bet.

Dev D

Dev D is so far the only success story of 2009. Collecting a further 1.5-1.6Cr in its 3rd week (a fall of around 55%) the niche film has amassed a commendable total of 13.4-14.2Cr. Overall it is an above average performer.

Luck by Chance

Luck by Chance collected a further 0.2-0.3Cr to takes it four week total to 16.3-17.9Cr. The drama is a flop.

January 2009
Chandi Chowk to China : 24.5 – 26.2Cr (Disaster)
Raaz – The Mystery Continues : 22.5 – 23.8Cr (Below Average)
Slumdog Millionaire : 4.8 – 5.5Cr (Flop)
Luck By Chance : 16.3 – 17.9Cr (Flop)
Victory : 1.2 – 1.5Cr (Disaster)

February 2009
Dev D : 13.4 – 14.2Cr (Above Average)
Billu : 21.2 – 22.4Cr (Flop)
Delhi 6 : 23.0 – 24.5Cr (Decent Opening week)

46 Responses to “JayShah’s Saturday Box Office Column – Delhi 6 garners mixed response”

  1. Thanks! Mumbai has largely been unreported. FI should come as handy this week. My estimate is roughly around 24cr or so.


  2. Yipeee! My Saturday is made.

    Yes, with about 23-25 crores (could be a crore or two less either ways), the opening week is decent for sure.

    And Billu’s failure needs to be shared equally between Irrfan and SRK – SRK more because the promos had him all over the place and his screen time was considerable. More importantly, why did he release the film on 1000 prints? Obviously, because he had faith in his stardom .
    What has taken me aback is the manner in which such a decent film has been shunned and that too, one where SRK is associated.


    • well my view on billu is it isnt a decent movie at all…well theres nothing happenning in the movie..
      i saw it on first saturday due to friends and we well all bore and disappointed and to just inform we all appreciate good cinema but in case of billu problem is its a wannabie good cinema..
      every 1o min a srk song was bommbarded but only marjaani was gud rest were pathetic..
      all in all srk the creator and producer and visionary and in words of aamir PR EXPERT is to be blamed here ..if he had trust in his movie he wouldnt have given aso many item songs instead more of concrete story line..
      also ending left us with feeling what was that..and not to mention those teeth of the superstar which i fpound chalo ok but u cant expect college going crowd to see the message of friendship when wat u seen is bad teeth of srk…

      all in all 1/5 star for this really stupid movie..
      ( if they had gone via original malyalam film if m right were star is only there for bit mon=ments till finale it might have clicked)
      sandy -also i dont know what experts on sites states but i watched it in first weekend and i tell u the crowd inside theater had come to see superstar and not mr billu..and those people were disappointed a talking about mumbai by the way.. so for me its just a very very wrong move and publicity by srk…though hopefully he doesnt mess with next film khan


  3. On Billu, D6 – I am very surprised by the big print counts. I can’t second guess on the # of shows.

    Bearing the theme of both movies in mind – both situationally a bit hatke and certainly not complete massy films a smaller print count would have sufficed.

    BTW having seen LBC, Billu and D6 – all three are decent films…I liked LBC the most but D6 is not far behind. Main point is, the films are all watchable and hardly crassy in any way whatsoever. I am surprised all seem to be meeting with mixed responses or worse. One could qualify the word “drab” for some parts of these movies, but film making wise there aren’t major faults in any of them. The kind of films one wishes better results for.


    • first and foremost superb column as always..nobody does it better!

      billu had heavy print count…i saw it first week in mumbai and half theater was empty…so had predicted it..
      but lbc i though was too much for people who leave in cities like ahmd as i do…

      d6 havnt watched yet..

      but i can tell u one thing though theres economic meltdown but i tell u what it can only affect 20 % so if movie is good it can work look @ opening of cc2c and D6 if they were appreciated and accepted theuy wud have made more than 60-70 which cud have been decent so from my point of view this industry experts are not getting their audience right llook at devd they know their audience and they have been rewarded there..
      also i feel from reviews either d6 shud have been made @ lower budget or shud had a better massy ending..

      also had a question


  4. And I liked all the performances overall in the 3 films. I think audiences are shunning movies a tad here, with the whole economic downturn.


    • and also i can give u indian perspective about economics affecting film industry in this country i tell u in india theres no other entertainment then movies for youngster and workoholics so if films good enough to their taste and understanding it will run.. and lbc d6 billu have just failed to understand us their audience big time…

      and according to me aamir khan, karan johar ( to n extent and that to overseas), vipul shah, understand their audience the best


  5. Look at LBC, I believe they released it on 750 prints and or so. This is misplaced confidence and wrong reading of the audiences’ interest in the film. It’s one thing to have buzz inside the industry for your film, but you need to wisely guage the potential of your film’s opening.


  6. At least Dev D is doing well – well in the sense it is staying affloat decently. By the noise coming out about this film, looks like the best effort so far this year.


  7. “And I liked all the performances overall in the 3 films. I think audiences are shunning movies a tad here, with the whole economic downturn.”

    Valid point Jay. I guess unless a film is outright good, audiences are resisting.


  8. FI would come as handy this week. Mumbai has largely been unreported for D6.


  9. I think Dev D being artisitc and hatke – along with all the great reviews – is only one aspect of it. The important part from the BO perspective is that it’s theme revolves around sex and as we know sex served in an ironic vein always works with youngsters 🙂


  10. Great stuff Jay. And glad to see this column after a while!


  11. Ace as always Jay!


  12. Satyam,see Jay’s column is in the ‘uncategorised ‘ category,it should have been in ‘bad’ category.This is a cop out.LOL
    BTW nice work as always Jay.


  13. Thanks all – I think this is best left as “ugly” or “bad” lol

    rooney agree that a thouroughly entertaining film would withstand the economic downturn. I think its likely that this year the bar is higher to get the audience in.


  14. Good stuff as wlays.
    Pity D6 is struggling. Deserved a better fate.


  15. I just don’t get what the audience wants..D6 is made with a lot of passion and clearly a lot of innovative thinking went into the scripting process.. this film deserves more respect from the audience.


    • I think that good films often fail. Equally there are films with good intentions that are not otherwise the best cinema. I think one must always allow for the latter possibility as well. As for what audiences what it’s usually formula cinema (though the formula is different for different ages). To be fair here the audiences were excited about D6. They just didn’t like what they saw. Cinema is an art form which in addition to achieving an artistic (if the film aspires to be such) also has to fulfill a democratic obligation (convince a large part of the audience). The two aims are really unrelated in any sense except for the pragmatic one. Even if you’re the world’s greatest director you do have to make money somehow, somewhere.

      The bigger problem I would submit is that in India there is the complete absence of a genuine critical culture in these matters and this has consequences. On the one hand people judge all kinds of films with the same yardstick. But also relatively offbeat or certainly risky films are distributed in just the normal way as long as a proper star is associated with these. So with D6 Mehra should have perhaps gone in for a smaller print count and also sold the message that this wasn’t RDB and was a different kind of work ‘tonally’. A lot of times it’s about setting expectation the right way. I liked the film for example the first time but a lot more the second time. Because I was more attuned to it in the latter instance and this happened because I was free of any earlier baggage.

      In the US for example just because Brad Pitt appears in Babel the film does not get wide distribution. There are many such examples.


  16. Any comparison with bigger (large footprint) movies and which earned more (>25Cr). For example CCTC.


  17. good work, as usual, Jay. I hope the reports of D6 flopping badly are premature and it trends reasonably well to reach 40+ finally. The exact numbers really don’t matter all that much to me, but perhaps if the trending is better than what people are saying then, in retrospect, the media will be less harsh on the movie. It really isn’t as bad a movie as most of the initial reviews were saying. LBC flopping was very disappointing to me, and D6 (even though it has a LOT of bad things about it) being thoroughly rejected will make it worse!


  18. abcd – will look into this tomorrow, but main thing here is without a Mumbai number the whole total is prone to a lot of variance. BTW have done a CCTC comparison “CCTC ~ 23.8Cr (using my CCTC figure of 22.75Cr)” – I had a pretty low CCTC number but still D6 was ahead here by about 1Cr. But this is without Mumbai.

    Rahul thanks – btw nice blog. Agree with you, will hope D6 holds on for this week. Both LBC and D6 don’t deserve to be flops but sometimes decent/good films flop (and crass ones become blockbusters!)


  19. rational Says:

    I think to large extent, trade has killed or has been negative about D6. I think with so much negativity, probably only SRK or Aamir’s film could have survived. We have seen CCTC didn’t survive. Even SIK would have fared similarly had it not for Punjab and north India (Eventually it also nosedived from Monday onwards). I believe as we go ahead trade verdicts would be announced on first day itself. It is like fast food generation we want everything fast, we don’t have patience for anything.


    • I would disagree with this.. I don’t believe that the trade or media have the power to kill a film. Maybe make a difference at the margins. Of course the media does create a certain hysteria at points and certain stars and/or films might be more vulnerable to it. But the difference cannot be that between a hit and a flop.


    • The more significant problem here is that the media or trade might not change its verdict if this has been proven wrong. The narrative becomes set in stone. So as we saw with Tara Rum Pum the film did quite decently (better than this in small centers) but the media refused to call it anything but a flop.


    • “I believe as we go ahead trade verdicts would be announced on first day itself. It is like fast food generation we want everything fast, we don’t have patience for anything.”

      Do agree with this. The entire media apparatus, the trade structure (neither one ethical, sometimes even compromised or corrupt) have a vested interest in creating sensation on day one. But it’s also a larger cultural thing where the box office really becomes the be all and end all. It becomes hard to even discuss the potential merits of a film if it’s deemed to be a flop for example. People just stop listening.


  20. @Satyam ji

    Abhishek Bachchan while replying to a question put by me in FB Delhi 6 fanpage said that D6 has grossed nearly 33 crores at domestic BO ,according to the figures given to him by producers/distributors . Thats about 19.8 – 21.4 crores nett for week 1 , i guess .So if we add another 6 crores to that as overseas nett ( I assume this because TA reported 6.5-7 crore weekend overseas gross for D6) , then worldwide nett for week 1 stands at 27 crores . Your views on this please .

    Now if D6 crosses 40 crores mark in its entire theatrical run ( though looks very unlikely with predominantly negative WOM ) , will you classify D6 as — Flop ,Below Average or Average ????


    • Were the 33 crores the first week total or something else? Abhishek could have been relying on the earlier weekend figures which had the 33 crores figure (also mentioned in BoC).


  21. @Satyam ji

    In past couple of years certain movies have been dubbed in Telugu & Tamil and released simultaneously with its Hindi version , targetting the regional audience who otherwise only goes for regional movies e.g. Jodha Akbar ,Dhoom 2 ,Krishh ,Guru .

    Don’t you think that benefits those movies and gives them an edge over others ?


    • Kalyan: I don’t see this as a big issue. Because it seems to me that only those films or stars would do well in dubbed that already have a market. So if a star or a film (or filmmaker) has an additional market more power to them! Think of it this way — Hollywood films are released globally. That gives them an advantage the French industry doesn’t have!


  22. @Satyam ji

    You didn’t answered my question .I repeat it :

    “How much worldwide nett does D6 require in its entire theatrical run to call itself average ?”


    • The worldwide deal I am less interested in. In India it’s made about 25 crores in week 1. If it say goes onto 45 crores this would suggest a fair bit of retention given all the negativity surrounding it. If it does 35-40 that’s not acceptable. That would probably indicate some segment liking it but a small one. If it did 50 crores that would be excellent after this start and especially given the mixed reception. It’s really a wait and watch at this point though. Realistically I wouldn’t expect anything too high here.


  23. @Satyam ji

    Whats the conversion factor for gross to nett — 0.6 , 0.65 or 0.75 ?


    • BOI use a constant. IBOS vary it a bit. Generally speaking the conversion factor is different depending on whether the gross comes from across the board, mostly from multiplexes or mostly from non-multiplexes.


  24. This is an intresting and encouraging to see total Indian gross for D6 is little more than $10M i.e 50 crore plus according to Boxoffice mojo. Am I missing something here Satyam & other experts as all of U have put that fifure much less? Below is the link for MOJO.



  25. Not sure what explains that figure Pradip..


  26. @Satyam

    ROM Sir clarifies the gross collection of Delhi 6 for week 1 , by sending me a message at FB :

    Rakeysh’s message :

    week one India -31 cr gross box office

    overseas- 7.5 cr gross box office

    so total 38.5 gross box off



  27. Thank U Satyam for quick response. Thank U Kalyan for sharing and MOJO’s report is supposed to be for first week and for India only. Their figure for other movies seem to be accurate and they have a good reputation. Now, mystry of D6 seem to be deepen too along with movie itself!


  28. delhi 6 has dropped 75% over the second weekend in the US.


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